Use description. (Show it, don't tell it.)

"Don't tell me the old lady screamed - bring her on out and let her scream."

Mark Twain

Don't ramble on, just telling things that happened.  Dramatize them.  Today's readers have grown up on TV and film and want to see it for themselves. 

Showing; Letting the reader see for him or herself. 

The superior writer shows the reader what is going on with detail.  The reader then feels as though she has figured it out for herself. 

Just Telling

The poor writer has to tell the reader what to think, because the reader could never figure it out from the writing!

Bill's fingers were mashing into Mike's eye, his thumb thrusting the other's nose upward; a sudden shift worked lose Mike's hand and in a splintered second it was a fist slamming upward into Bill above him. 

No one has to explain what this means!  The reader can see for herself that this is a fight!

Mike and Bill started fighting. 

The poor writer has to tell it to the reader; there simply isn't enough detail for the reader to figure it out on his own. 

The kids in the woods were lost and they were in trouble.  They had a little camp and they built a fire.

The four stranded teenagers strode into the deep, resin-scented darkness and gathered dead sticks and cones to make a fire.  When they returned to their makeshift camp, Mike opened up the matchbook and looked up with a worried expression - there were only four matches left.

The writer here didn't have to tell the reader they were in trouble--the reader can see that for himself! 

The forest as first seemed fun and exciting, but soon he began to image that things were watching him. 

     There was nothing to alarm him at first entry.  Twigs crackled under his feet, logs tripped him, funguses on stumps resembled caricatures, and startled him for the moment by their likeness to something familiar and far away; but that was all fun, and exciting.  It led him on, and he penetrated to where the light was less, and trees crouched nearer and nearer, and holes made ugly mouths at him on either side. Everything was very still now.  The dusk advanced on him steadily, rapidly, gathering in behind and before; and the light seemed to be draining away like flood-water.
     Then the faces began.
     It was over his shoulder, and indistinctly, that he first thought he saw a face; a little evil wedge-shaped face, looking out at him from a hole.  When he turned and confronted it, the thing had vanished.

Kenneth Graham The Wind in the Willows

Jim greatly enjoyed the apple pie his mom made. 

As his mother set the steaming pie on the table, a grin appeared on his face like the dawn's first light striking the barn and the outbuildings on a frosty December morning.  He dashed the fork into the flaky crust and devoured it with gusto. 

     Elmer moved closer to the ticket booth and glanced at the admission price - six dollars.  Slowly, he pulled out a crumpled five, flattened it on the counter, and pulled out a fistful of change.  With careful deliberation, he counted out another dollar in nickels, dimes, and pennies and pushed the correct amount to the ticket girl.  She counted the coins quickly and then pressed the button.  Elmer took his ticket, then glanced once more at the admission price, then moved toward the attendant.  Taking the torn half of the ticket the attendant returned to him, he moved cautiously into the lobby. 
     Jenkins strode quickly to the window of the ticket booth and slapped a ten-dollar bill down on the counter, his beefy red face creasing in to a boozy grin.  As the ticket flickered up at him, he snatched it, grabbed the bills that were pushed toward him, and stuffed them loosely into his pocket.  Passing the attendant, he waved the ticket at him cheerily. 
     Jenkins hurried to the candy counter.  Glancing down at the display, he caught sight of the Hershey bar, the last one, but before he could tell the woman behind the counter, Elmer spoke up: "I'd like that Hershey bar, please." 
     "Just hold on there," said Jenkins heavily.  "That's my Hershey bar.  I saw it first. 
     "I beg your pardon," said the little man, stepping back uncertainly.  "Are you addressing me?"
     Jenkins glared at him.  "Well I'm lookin' at ya, ain't I?" 
     Without touching Elmer, he leaned his arm in, blocking his access to the candy girl and shoving a fiver at her. 
     The little man smiled unhappily and looked nervously around him.  When Jenkins was gone, he selected another bar. 

William Knott.  The Craft of Fiction. 

     Elmer was a wimp, and always gave in to what other people demanded whether it was something he wanted or not.  Jenkins was a drunk and a bully.